The Price Of Censure

Having purchased one’s place in the hierarchy, and awaiting apotheosis in the afterlife, what else does one do in the here and now? The essential bargain of middle-class religion is that one renounces certain sexual rights – such as the right to open display of pre-marital sex, open display of adultery and in extreme cases even the actual sexual behaviour itself – and in return receives rights of censure. That is, you invest in a reputation for at least outward chastity, which yields a return in the form of an entitlement to both despise and censure everyone who has not done the same. Such despite and censure are emotionally so satisfying that many people choose to make the sacrifice of sexual freedom required, in fact almost as many as those who purchase the rights with the coin of a pretended renunciation. What has too easily been assumed to be fear of sex itself, and thus interpreted in all sorts of ingenious Freudian ways, is nothing of the kind. Middle-class sexual anxiety is all about being caught out in violation of this contract and so losing those so dearly bought rights to hierarchical self-aggrandisement, despite and priggishness.

Posted on January 28, 2010 at 10:49 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE LONGEST CON, Religion As Social-Status Tech

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